Learning that you’ve been accused of child abuse can be devastating, as it can take a toll on your mental state, reputation, and life. As such, doing what you can to protect yourself is vital. Unfortunately, if you are at the center of an investigation, you may be unfamiliar with how to proceed or what defenses you can use. As such, it’s imperative to connect with Houston criminal defense attorneys to ensure you have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Keep reading to learn more about why these allegations can arise and what you must do.
Why Would Someone Make False Accusations of Child Abuse?
Unfortunately, there are several reasons why a parent or child would accuse someone else of child abuse. In some instances, these claims may be made in good faith, meaning the person reporting the alleged abuse is genuinely concerned about the child. This can happen if the reporter is given incorrect information, misinterprets something, or has been manipulated.
However, intentionally incorrect allegations are also common, as they are only made out of spite with the intention to upend the accused’s life. These false allegations often arise as the result of a custody battle in which one parent wants to receive full custody. As such, they may coach the child into making false allegations against the other parent.
What Defense Strategies Can I Use?
If you are facing allegations of child abuse, it’s necessary to understand that you have the right to defend yourself. However, you should first connect with an experienced attorney so they can provide more specific advice for your circumstances. Regardless, some potential defenses include:
- Providing an alibi: One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is to show the police that you were not at the scene of the crime at the time it occurred. You may have movie tickets that show you were at a movie theater a few towns over, which can be verified with security footage. This can help establish inconsistencies with false reports.
- Call their credibility into question: When facing false charges, you may be able to gather evidence that discredits the accusations against you. For example, if a young child is alleging abuse, they may let it slip that they’ve rehearsed with their parent. Similarly, a spouse may have threatening text messages from their ex. As such, these can call the legitimacy of the allegations into question.
If I’m Falsely Accused, What Should I Do?
The moment you learn of the allegations, whether they are posted in a defamatory online message or you are placed under arrest, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. Until you have spoken to your attorney, you should not give any statements to the police or say anything to anyone about the allegations. If under arrest, inform the police that you want to speak to your attorney, and then invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
These accusations can be devastating. Unfortunately, you may find that these allegations can cause irreparable damage if left unchecked. As such, you must consult an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. At the Gonzalez Law Group, we understand how anxiety-inducing this process can be, which is why we’re ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.